What is a Midi Dress & How To Style a Midi Dress If You’re Short

What is a Midi Dress?

Before we jump into midi dress shopping and styling tips lets define what is a midi dress first. A midi dress or midi skirt is where the hem ends halfway between the knee and ankle. Traditionally speaking a midi dress ends mid-calf but you never really want it to end right at your mid-calf as you’ll read in the midi dress styling tips below.

Continue reading to discover the best mid-length dresses, midi dress shopping tips and plenty of style tips on how to style and what to wear with a midi dress.

The Best Midi Length Dresses

The wonderful thing about midi length dresses is that you can wear them most of the year because of the length. Midi dresses are stylish in the spring, summer, fall and maybe even winter, depending on where you live. I live in Austin, Texas so it really doesn’t ever get too cold here and I have the advantage of opting to wear a dress year-round.

The style of midi dress you buy depends on the occasion and season. So let’s take into consideration different seasons and occasions in which you could choose to wear a midi dress.

Stylish Spring Midi Length Dresses

Spring is when dresses come to the scene in full force. Paisley, floral, polka dot, window pane, gingham, and so many other beautiful prints hit the stores. Look for dresses in beautiful pastels (if pastels look nice on your skin tone), lively prints, and bright spring colors.

Look for spring midi dresses with side slits and interesting necklines. The sleeves can be off the shoulder, long and airly, spaghetti strap or simple cap sleeve.

When styling a midi dress for the spring always bring a jean or cotton jacket to wear over the dress in case it gets chilly. During the start of spring, it can get a little breezy to make sure to layer with a cool jacket!

I’ve linked some of my favorite spring midi dresses right below this sentence! I hope they give you plenty of spring outfit inspiration!

Stylish Summer Midi Length Dresses

Once summer hits you’ll want to wear a mid-length dress that is lighter in fabric and in color. Think dresses white and cream. And you could go on the other end of the spectrum to yellow, green, brown, or orange. Summer midi dresses are flirty and show off more skin! They are more often spaghetti strap, off the shoulder, or no sleeve at all. I also love a midi length slip dress that you could wear to the beach or a relaxing dinner.

Pair your summer midi dress with your hair in a bun wrapped in a scarf, your favorite summer sandals, a crossbody handbag, and your favorite sunglasses! These are some of my favorite summer midi dresses.

Stylish Formal Midi Length Dresses

Headed to a fancy event, yep you guessed it! You can wear a formal or dressy version of the midi dress. The fabric, shape, and style will be different from what I mentioned above. For a formal midi dress look for deeper darker colors and of course that includes black. As you can see from the shopping options I linked right below, these dresses are sequined, shiny, and some styles have a sheer fabric on top. Like the formal midi dress, I’m wearing in this outfit example.

For a fancy event, the shoes to wear with a midi dress can be high heels in black, metallic gold or silver. Depending on the accessories you wear make sure that your heels match. So if you’re wearing gold accessories wear black or gold heels. In my outfit example, my accessories are silver so the heels I opted for are black with silver accents.

Midi Dress Style Tips

There are a variety of ways to style a midi dress, but there are some general rules that I follow no matter the occasion or season. Since I am a shorter gal, I make sure the outfit is stylish and looks great on my petite figure.

Here are the 5 style guidelines I follow when wearing a midi dress.

1. Select a length that is slightly above or below mid-calf: This dress creates the perfect illusion of a longer dress. The metallic dress underneath the mesh fabric ends above mid-calf, but the mesh fabric ends slightly below mid-calf which helps distribute the fabric. If you can find a similar midi dress, I recommend it. You don’t want the midi dress to end exactly at mid-calf, which is the thickest part of your leg. Look for a midi dress that is slightly above or below.

2. Wear sexy heels: To elongate the leg and combat the stumpy look that a midi dress might give, wear strappy high heels. I’m referring to sexy minimal heel sandals that give you height without the extra weight of a clumpy shoe, like the ones I’m wearing in this midi dress outfit.

If you’re wondering what shoes to wear with a midi dress, I would suggest avoiding anything that is too clunky or heavy. By this I mean heavy boots, platform sandals or sneakers. Unless that is a look, you’re going for great. But most petite gals can’t pull off a midi dress with clunky shoes.

3. Look for a midi dress in lighter fabric: For your midi dress look for a fabric that is light and doesn’t add much weight to your figure. Search for a layered dress, like the midi dress I’m wearing in this post. This metallic dress with the mesh window pane pattern layered over it gives the outfit the light and airy feel. This openness helps me avoid looking short and stocky.

4. Cinch in the waist with a belt: You don’t want to wear a midi dress without giving your waist definition, you’ll look like a short block of fabric. Make sure the midi dress you choose looks flattering with a waist belt. Even if the midi dress you buy doesn’t come with a belt, add one. Unless of course, you’re going for that easy, breezy summer look. If you’re going to a formal event or even a dinner, try experimenting with a belt and see how it changes the outfit.

5. Opt for a solid color or same pattern from head to toe: This is not a dress you want to color block. Buy a midi dress in a solid color or one that has the same pattern from top to bottom. If you do want a dress with a little bit of pattern look for a dress with a small pattern. By small pattern, I mean a small floral pattern, tiny polka dots or something along those lines. I’ve linked some of my favorite stylish midi dresses to shop below.

The other thing I look for in a midi dress is that it’s simple and elegant, remember I love to dress classy. If it’s a midi dress I plan to wear to a spring event or the beach I would want it to be flirty as well. 😉 If you need some outfit ideas for summer make sure to check out 21 Cute Beach Outfits for Your Summer Outfit Inspiration.

There you go! Now you know what is a midi dress, how to style it, what to wear with a midi dress and what to look for when shopping for midi length dresses!

I hope this has helped my shorter readers feel confident to give midi dresses a try. Don’t be afraid to try a style out and make it your own, even when most say you should avoid it. If you love it, fantastic. If you don’t, at least you gave it a try and scratched the curiosity itch.

Let me know if you think I pulled off the midi dress. I’d love to know what you think about these midi dresses and what do you wear with midi dresses? Leave me a comment below!

Stay Stylish,
-V

P.S. If you liked the style tips you read here, make sure to check out my style guide on jumpsuits! Another piece that could be difficult to wear but so stylish when you get it right: How to Wear a Jumpsuit – 5 Must Follow Style Tips



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Jasmine Monroeau
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